MakanMakan treats diners to sumptuous Hari Raya fare
MakanMakan, a cultural event series that unites Malaysians in our love for food, is starting to become not only a much-anticipated event, but an expected one.
Organised by Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak, the Champions and Sarawak Development Institute (SDI), a Raya Aidilfitri edition was organised in collaboration with the Amanah Khairat Yayasan Budaya Melayu Sarawak (AKYBMS) on August 6 at Dewan HIKMAH, Petra Jaya.
The evening was attended by almost 100 guests of all ethnicities from institutions of higher learning, community associations, government agencies, and members of the public, proof of Sarawak’s proud heritage of cultural diversity.
In a nod to the old days, the evening kicked off with the beating of the beduk by the guest of honour, Chairman of Hikmah Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Dato Husain to signify the beginning of the function.
This was followed by a doa recital, after which came the beginning of a three-course gourmet adventure comprising 15 food items served seperah style: appetizers that included lemang, kuih bahulu, sekaya, bubur pedas, burasak and kuih sanggul bana.
In between courses, Pete Kallang and Friends began to serenade the crowd with ballads and smooth vocal renditions of Hari Raya classics.
The evening’s merry atmosphere was heightened when the main course was served. This included treats such as nasi minyak, chicken curry, beef rendang, daging masak hitam, chicken and beef satay, keceri nanas, ketupat, and kelupis.
This was washed down with a syrupy air selasih, seasoned with basil seeds. The communal eating experience with hands was as authentic as the food, complete with mat lined floor seating and finger bowls for cleaning one’s digits. A guest was also overheard proclaiming the daging masak hitam was the best he ever had.
A brief intermission was taken up by a ketupat-weaving demonstration that challenged even the most dexterous among the diners. Some even sought help from a cleaning lady at the back of the hall who happened to be thoroughly skilled in weaving those square icons of the Raya celebration.
The attempts and successes injected a fun atmosphere into the event. Later came dessert, which consisted of kek hati parek, a uniquely Sarawakian traditional steamed cake.
The evening came to a close with the ‘Potong Kepala Meja’ ceremony, a traditional Malay observance to signify the end of a function, led by Abdul Aziz and Puan Sri Datin Amar Faredahanam.
The combination of food, cultural exposure, music, and camaraderie created an undoubtedly satisfying feeling in both stomach and spirit.